Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm not sure if the latest Washington Post poll was written to generate talking points for the Democrats.... or if it was written by the Democrats...

For example, the question of the Democratic filibustering of Bush nominees is prefaced by "The Senate has confirmed 35 appeals court judges nominated by Bush, while Senate Democrats have blocked 10 others" - which is a Democratic talking point, one that every liberal talking head repeats over and over and over... "the Senate has confirmed a lot of Bush's picks and are only stalling on a relative handful... is that so bad?" Why preface the question at all? And, if you must do so, why use only the Democrat talking point?

Other questions merely hint at the answers sought by the survey's designers. The question that asks (italics mine): Would you support or oppose changing Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees?" could have just as easily been asked as "Would you support or oppose changing Senate rules to make it harder in the future for a minority of Senators to deny judicial nominees an up or down vote on their nomination?" Both questions accurately depict the debate, but I would wager the results would be different... vastly different.

While there are questions that suggest the GOP is too controlled by religious nuts - sure, the survey only asks, but why ask if there's fire where there's no smoke? - no question asks whether the Democrats are too beholden to trial lawyers, unions, government workers and abortion-on-demand activists (there is one question gauging how influencial liberals are within the Democratic party, but that is about it).

The survey thoughtfully listed President Bush as one option for assessing blame over high energy prices, but doesn't think it necessary to list Democratic stonewalling of expanded oil exploration and drilling as such a possibility.

The poll asks whether the Democrats or the Republicans are thought of as more tolerant and sympathetic (beholden, in Post-ease) to religion, but not which party is seen as too coddling of Hollywood and criminals.

And there are questions about Tom DeLay, but not about any of the Democrats who are just as guilty of abusing the trust of the voters by enriching themselves by taking gifts (which golf at St. Andrews most definitely is) from those seeking legislative favors.

UPDATE: Daly thoughts has more problems with the poll, primarily in the composition of the audience - he claims that the sample was improperly weighted with Democrats. I wonder if the audience party identification is influenced by the order of the questions. I'd guess that poll protocol dictates that demographics are asked at the end, but after a number of questions that beat on the GOP/conservative positions, I would venture that some respondents would be less likely to identify themselves as Republican. In any event, add a bunch of extra Democrats to questions that are taken right out of the mouth of any Democratic talking head and you can be sure to end up with poll results that yield what this one did.